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Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life

Torture: Is it Always Wrong?

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Kenneth Himes, Boston College
Date: Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Time: 12:00-1:15 PM
Location: Boisi Center, 24 Quincy Road

Torture is universally condemned despite its regular appearance throughout history. As a result of policy decisions in response to terrorism, the debate about torture has been revived. Recent arguments have taken up the questions of why it is wrong, and if it is absolutely wrong, without exception. This presentation will review answers to those questions as found in the writings of philosophers, theologians, lawyers, and other commentators.

headshot of Ken Himes

Kenneth Himes is a professor of theology at Boston College and also serves as chairperson for the department. Professor Himes earned his Ph.D. in religion and public policy from Duke University. Before joining the faculty at Boston College, he taught at the Washington Theological Union. He is also a member of the Order of Friars Minor (Franciscans) and has held multiple leadership positions within his religious community. Professor Himes has served as president of the Catholic Theological Society of America (2000-2001) and is also a member of the Society of Christian Ethics. His research interests are in the history of Catholic social teaching, the role of the U.S. Catholic community in American social reform, the ethics of warfare, and the relationship of religion and politics in the nation’s public life. He authored Responses to 101 Questions on Catholic Social Teaching (Paulist, 2001) and edited Modern Catholic Social Teaching (Georgetown, 2005).